Steve King defends Arpaio: 'I don't agree that profiling is wrong'

Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingGOP brawls over Trump on eve of first Jan. 6 hearing Pence to visit Iowa to headline event for congressman Former Steve King challenger on rural voters in GOP states: 'They hate Democrats' MORE (R-Iowa) on Monday defended former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona, who was convicted of criminal contempt of court for refusing to halt his immigration patrols but pardoned by President TrumpDonald TrumpCuban embassy in Paris attacked by gasoline bombs Trump Jr. inches past DeSantis as most popular GOP figure in new poll: Axios Trump endorses Ken Paxton over George P. Bush in Texas attorney general race MORE.

“I don’t agree that profiling is wrong,” King told CNN’s Chris Cuomo. “In fact, if you would take profiling away from the tools of law enforcement, you couldn’t describe a criminal in any way whatsoever.”

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King’s comments come hours after Trump defended his decision last week to pardon Arpaio. The former sheriff was convicted last month of contempt for disobeying a court order that he halt his office's racial profiling policies.

“There’s a difference between racial profiling and broader profiling with all of the descriptions that are there,” King argued in the Monday night interview.

“And I say it’s wrong, too, and the Justice Department has issued a directive that says you shall not racially profile if that’s the only component.”